AirTag competitor Tile today announced a new anti-theft mode for Tile tracking devices designed to make Tile accessories undetectable through anti-stalking scanning and security.
Scan and Secure is a security measure that Tile has implemented to allow iPhone and Android users to scan for and detect nearby Tile devices to prevent them from being used for stalking purposes. Unfortunately, Scan and Secure undermines the Tile’s anti-theft capabilities, as a stolen device’s Tile can be located and removed, which is also possible when similar security features are added to AirTags.
Tile’s anti-theft mode disables scanning and backup, so a Tile tracking device can’t be located by someone who doesn’t own the tracker. According to Tile, to prevent stalking with Anti-Theft mode, customers must register with multi-factor identification and agree to strict terms of service that include a $1 million fine if the device is used without their consent. to track a person.
The Anti-Theft Mode option is designed to make it easier to locate stolen items by preventing thieves from knowing an item is being tracked. Tile notes that in addition to anti-theft mode, its trackers won’t notify nearby smartphone users if an unknown Bluetooth tracker is traveling with them, making them more useful than AirTags for tracking stolen items. Apple added nearby AirTag alerts to prevent AirTags from being used to track people.
Unlike other Bluetooth trackers on the market, namely AirTags, Tile does not notify nearby smartphone users when an unknown Bluetooth tracker is traveling with them. These proactive notifications can let thieves know there is a tracker on the stolen item, allowing them to remove it and making the item less likely to be recovered. Some competing products even go so far as to emit a beep once the tracker has been separated from its owner, making the presence of a tracker obvious and allowing thieves to pinpoint it. The proactive notifications in the Bluetooth tracker industry are designed to deter stalking; However, these anti-stalking measures have been criticized as insufficient to protect victims. Instead, these alerts have the ability to make Bluetooth trackers easily identifiable to thieves.
To enable anti-theft mode, users must link a government-issued ID card to their Tile account and undergo an “enhanced ID verification process” that uses a biometric scan to detect fake IDs.
ID sync is designed to discourage people from using Tile trackers for stalking or other nefarious purposes. Tile says any person convicted of using Tile devices to illegally stalk another person without their consent will be fined $1 million, according to Tile’s Terms of Service. Tile says it also takes a “highly cooperative stance” with law enforcement, and users who enable anti-theft mode acknowledge that their personal information “can and will be shared” with law enforcement officials if stalking is suspected.
Tile claims that these Terms of Service are “advanced security measures” that protect people from being tracked using Tile devices.
Anti-Theft mode is rolling out to Tile users starting today and will roll out to all users in the coming weeks.